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The Third Sunday in Advent, MMVII

Grace unto you, and Peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ

News of the Order and commentary appear after the Proper Collect, Epistle and Gospel

The Third Sunday in Advent
Augustine on Psalm LII

LORD, we beseech thee, give ear to our prayers, and by thy gracious visitation lighten the darkness of our heart, by our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.

Source: 1549 Prayer Book. This collect is from the Middle Ages.

Isaiah 35, Psalms 52, 53 | 93, 94 , 1 Corinthians iv. 1   &  St. Matthew xi. 2

Homily of Augustine on Psalm LII

Andrea del Sarto, 'John the Baptist', c. 1528
Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee




 "I'm afraid I hate the weeks just before Christmas, and so much of the (very commericalised and vulgarized) fuss has nothing to do with the Nativity at all.  I wish we didn't live in a world where buying and selling things (especially selling) seems to have become almost more important than either producing or using them."

[Letters to an American Lady, December 19, 1955]




60 Martyrs of Gaza - December 17th

Thomas the Apostle -- December 21st



I came across this book recently: Augustine of Hippo, Sermons to the People Advent Christmas, New Year, Epiphany .  At the link you'll see the modern tone of the translation, and quite an entertaining Sermon extract on Advent. Those ministers who have had members of their congregation fall asleep, or absent themselves on a Sunday to watch a football game, will appreciate the beginning of this lesson.




I thought the quotation from C.S. Lewis above was timely. Let us keep the traditional meaning of Advent and Christmas in our minds and hearts. We can best do that in this season of Advent through daily devotional readings, prayer, and contemplation on the gravity of the significance of God's Advent in the world, incarnate in his Son Jesus of Nazareth; and of his promised Second Coming.


The Psalm appointed for this week's lesson is 52. It is David's song against Doeg, the Edomite. I suggest a preparatory reading of 1 Sam 22, with special attention to verses 9 &17-18.  Augustine writes of verse 7:


"And the just shall see, and shall fear; and over him they shall laugh" (ver. 7). Shall fear when? Shall laugh when? Let us therefore understand, and make a distinction between those two times of fearing and laughing, which have their several uses. For so long as we are in this world, not yet must we laugh, lest hereafter we mourn. We have read what is reserved at the end for this Doeg, we have read and because we understand and believe, we see but fear. This, therefore, hath been said, "The just shall see, and shall fear." So long as we see what will result at the end to evil men, wherefore do we fear? Because the Apostle hath said, "In fear and trembling work out your own salvation:" because it hath been said in a Psalm, "Serve the Lord in fear, and exult unto Him with trembling." Wherefore "with fear"? "Wherefore let him that thinketh himself to stand, see that he fall not." Wherefore "with trembling"? Because he saith in another place: "Brethren, if a man shall have been overtaken in any delinquency, ye that are spiritual instruct such sort in the spirit of gentleness; heeding thyself, lest thou also be tempted." Therefore, the just that are now, that live of faith, so see this Doeg, what to him is to result, that nevertheless they fear also for themselves: for what they are to-day, they know; what to-morrow they are to be, they know not



salvere iubeo




"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]


"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]


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